Economy

Just 100 firms attributable for 71% of global emissions, report says

Just 100 firms attributable for 71% of global emissions, report says”

The data shows that 32 percent of these legacy emissions, which equate to approximately 635 billion tons of GHG, come from companies that are public investor-owned, highlighting the power of investors in the transition to a sustainable economy.

According to a study from the British research firm Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Climate Accountability Institute, major fuel firms operating around the globe have produced almost three-fourths of all the greenhouse gas emissions since climate change was officially recognized by the United Nations. "All 100 producers account for 71 percent of global industrial GHG emissions", the report states. This is likely to have catastrophic consequences including substantial species extinction and global food scarcity risks. Not surprisingly, it found that European majors are outperforming their USA peers in the shift to climate governance and strategy investment in low-carbon technology, with Statoil, Eni, Total, Shell + BG and BP taking ranking highest on CDP's League Table.

The CDP's analysis is important because it focuses on the greenhouse gas emissions of investor- and state-owned companies rather than on individual countries.

The study says the companies would need to begin reducing their collective emissions by 2025 in order to help the world meet the 2 degree Celsius warming target most scientists say is necessary for avoiding the worst of climate change.

Notably, Exxon Mobil investors recently called for the company to provide a future plan in case of stronger Climate Change regulations.

"From carbon capture to clean energy, to methane mitigation to operational efficiencies, fossil fuel majors will have to demonstrate leadership by contributing to the low carbon transition at the scale and pace required", said Richard Heede of the Climate Accountability Institute.

According to the report, BP was the source of 1.5% of emissions between 1998 and 2015.

Investors should shift away from fossil fuels, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, told the Guardian. "Those left holding investments in fossil fuel companies will find their investments becoming more and more risky over time". "Not only is it morally risky, it's economically risky".

And oil and gas companies are also embarking on green investments.

"Since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, there has been a huge jump in carbon pricing schemes", said Dr Evelyn Mervine, a geologist at De Beers. This follows a recent Oil and Gas sector report from CDP which revealed that the industry is starting to transition to renewable energy, with Norway's Statoil. And ExxonMobil, which has faced heavy criticism for its environmental record, has been exploring carbon capture and storage. A research paper published last year by Paul Stevens, an academic at think tank Chatham House, said global oil companies were no longer fit for goal and warned these multinationals that they faced a "nasty, brutish and short" end within the next 10 years if they did not completely change their business models.



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